We all have different paths through life, some harder than others. We all make mistakes, some much worse than others. The sad truth is that when people become homeless, face drug addiction or go into prison they are swept into a current they can feel powerless to escape from. The systems in place to help people who are marginalised can be rigid, punitive and judgemental and often don’t work for the very people they are intended to help.

England and Wales has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in Western Europe, with nearly 80,000 people incarcerated. This is predicted to rise to nearly 100,000 by 2026. Yet, prison isn’t working. Reoffending rates remain stubbornly high, with 45% of adults released from prison going on to reoffend within a year. For those who served a sentence of less than 12 months this increases to 61%.

Around a thousand people leave prison homeless every month, leading to an increased risk of reoffending. Even during the extra funding and support available during the pandemic this was still as high as 650 a month.

200,000 people were classed as ‘core homeless’ in England in 2021. In 2020 there were an estimated 10,500 people currently sleeping rough on any given night. There are countless more in unsuitable and unstable accommodation.

One in five young people don’t achieve a good set of basic qualifications by age 19, an eight-year low.

Nacro offers people a different path.